Along the Way: Snooks Covered Bridge

Snook
Snook’s Covered Bridge

Note: This is a part of the Bedford County Covered Bridge tour I went on. Each bridge in the tour has directions from the previous bridge. In all, eight covered bridges will be featured in this tour. The tour order is: Osterburg, Snooks, Knisley and Ryot, Cuppett and Gravity Hill, Colvin, and Herline and Turner Covered Bridges.

Leaving the Osterburg Covered Bridge, I continued on Covered Bridge Road as the next rain shower arrived. At the next intersection, I turned right and continued roughly a half mile on Gordon Hall Road and turned left onto Fish Hatchery Road. Driving a short distance, I could see Snooks Covered Bridge ahead of me on Fish Hatchery Road.

I parked at a small pull-off and got out of the vehicle. The bridge is still open for vehicular traffic, so using caution I stepped out onto the road to photograph the bridge. Thankfully, this road was not busy during my visit.

The bridge takes its name from Jacob Snooks who once lived near the bridge. Built in 1883, the single-span, Burr Truss bridge crosses Dunnings Creek with a length of eighty-two feet. The bridge has vertical planks covering the bottom two-thirds to protect the structure from the elements. Like the majority of Bedford County’s covered bridges, this one is painted white. It was placed on the National Historic Register in 1980 and was restored in 1994.

With no vehicles in sight, I walked through the bridge and was greeted on the other side with a monument that is typical with the county’s restored bridges. At some point – I imagine it was during the 1994 restoration, but I have not found a definite answer – steel beams were added beneath the wooden planks for additional support when vehicles pass through.

After taking notes from the memorial I passed through the bridge and was ready to visit the next covered bridge of the day, located a short distance away.

Note: The address for this bridge is Alum Bank, a name that is rarely seen on maps today because it was renamed Pleasantville. Alum Bank was named for natural deposits of pure alum discovered there.

In many places, I’ve encountered the following: “A post office was established about 1812 and in 1843 the post office was moved. In 1855, it was moved to Pleasantville, but retained the name Alum Bank.” I’m not sure where this confusing information came from, but not only is it confusing, it does not match up with post office records.

In Pennsylvania Postal History (Kay and Smith) the following information is provided: The post office was established there in 1824 and designated as “Alum Bank.” From 1895 to 1905, there was a name change to “Alumbank,” but in 1905 it reverted back to the original spelling and has remained that way. Checking for references of Pleasantville, there are no post offices listed by that name as ever existing in Bedford County.

With that in mind, here’s what I believe the author was trying to state in this confusing history. The community of Alum Bank was founded in 1812. In 1824, Alum Bank became the official postal designation when the post office was established there. The name was changed to Pleasantville in the 1850s – possibly the 1855 date listed – but post office retains the name Alum Bank.

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